"The greatest achievement we’ve observed following these last few months of teaching is how the students have improved their confidence in class. Since the beginning we tried to push our students, mainly the children, to go to the front of the classroom to either do exercises on the board or to roleplay some simple dialogues with their friends. We believe that confidence is the most important factor to make them start speaking English fearlessly.”
Easy to imagine that, at that level, the students were shy and reluctant to go in front of the whole classroom. Putting themselves at risk of being embarrassed in front of everyone? Inconceivable. Still, we teachers always encourage the students to volunteer themselves for such tasks, even if they give us the wrong answers: “good job, but next time you must do this or don’t do that!”.
After a few weeks of repeating these activities, we noticed this girl, Nor Aisafitri, who would always volunteer herself to go to the board. Although she did not know the answer or did not understand exactly what was asked, it did not matter. Everytime we needed a volunteer, Nor Aisafitri was always the first to raise her hand!
Nor Aisafitri (left)
During the long school holidays last year, there was a Summer Camp promoted by Hap Seng involving a bunch of activities encouraging teamwork between the children, aiming to raise leadership skills among them. We knew that a few students of ours would take part and we decided to pay them a visit to see for ourselves how they were doing during the camp.
The first positive surprise: our students were confidently speaking in English to the other children. They were not threatened by their relatively new skills in the language and they were actively taking part in the activities held there, and, of course, Nor Aisafitri was one of the students we encountered there.
However, the greatest surprise came afterwards. During the camp the children were being monitored by the organizer, and those who had leadership skills would be selected for an activity to lead some other children. Nor Aisafitri was one of the leaders!
I am still not sure whether she is aware of how great this attitude is and how far it can take her. However, by now, we teachers are so proud to see how she has improved her confidence during classes and glad to see this girl’s eagerness from such a young age! I really hope to see even more students showing a little bit more enthusiasm within and outside our classroom!
Written by Hap Seng Tawau Community Centre CCM-Cassio Roman.